MOUNT GILEAD — Managers and staff from a dozen county agencies came together Wednesday to hear details about the new public transportation system coming to Morrow County this year. The new “Morrow County Area Transit “will replace Morrow County Transportation Collaborative.
MCTC Manager Tim Maceyko called the new system, “a gigantic step in public transportation for reasonable cost with regional connections.”
The new transit service will provide two types of transportation service. One is called “Countywide Demand Responsive Service,” or dial-a-ride, which will provide service at a passenger request.
It will require a two-day advance notice for trip request. A larger fare may be required for a less than two-day notice, unless the trip can fit into the schedule.
The service will operate 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday 6 am to noon and will be closed major holidays. The fare within 2 miles of the Mount Gilead square will be $2, within 2-10 miles, the fare will be $3 and more than 10 miles within the county fares are $4.
Fares to bordering counties will be $35. The fare to Columbus is $130 with some group rates possible.
The other service is called Deviated Route Service. It will operate on a regularly defined route within a specific service area with regular, designated check point stops.
New transit director Carrie Watson presented a map of a proposed route for the Deviated Bus Route. It is a 29-minute circle with stops in Mount Gilead, Edison and Cardington. There will be a $1 fare. The bus will deviate off route up to 1 mile, based on availability.
This service will be free the first six months March 1 through July 30 to encourage people to try the service.
Julie Schafer, of RLS Associates, explained some of the details of the grant that Morrow County received for operating and capital funding in 2019.
The grant was applied for by MCTC for Section 5311 Rural Transportation Funding to start in 2019. The grant was approved by ODOT for service to begin in 2019 on March 1.
Schafer said “Morrow County was selected for this grant funding because Tim Maceyko and Sundie Brown of JFS had the pieces put together.”
The funding for the operating budget of $1,112,552.00 requires a local 50% match. The maintenance budget is $198,832.00 and requires a local match of 20%. The capital equipment budget is $406,521.00 and requires a 20% local match and will be used for 6 vehicles. The present MCTC fleet will also be used.
Schafer emphasized that the local match will not come from the county funds, but from Medicaid, senior and contract revenue.
Brown and Maceyko said they are working out details such as what age children and teens can ride unaccompanied. They are also accepting applications for two dispatchers to schedule passengers.
Watson said there will be flyers and brochures with information placed around the county over the next few weeks as the new system is rolled out. County residents can also watch for information on the MCTC Facebook page and call the MCTC phone number at 419-864-3500.